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Canadian-Filipino Senator Tobias Enverga Lies About His 'Charitable Activities’ Print
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Sunday, 31 March 2013 19:35

 

 

A "slip of the tongue" perhaps? But it's out there published online and in print. And it is the roundabout admission by the recently-appointed member of the Senate of Canada, Tobias Enverga Jr., that the organization he claims to have founded in 2008 and became active in 2010 "is still working on getting a charitable receipt authority from the Canada Revenue Authority (sic)". Essentially it means that it is not registered as a charity in Canada Revenue Agency. The alleged registration number being bandied about by its president is nothing more than a corporation number in Ontario. Previously, Enverga complains about him and his wife being "unfairly portrayed" as "thieves, crooks".

 

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MISLEADING THE PUBLIC

Senator Enverga Caught Lying About His 'Charitable Foundation'

 

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), Asian-American Journalists Association (AAJA) and National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC)

 

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. – Mark Twain

 

T ORONTO – One of the recent appointees to the Senate of Canada,  Philippine-born Tobias Enverga Jr, has practically admitted lying about the status of a community organization he founded and has been using as a vehicle to raise money from the public.

 

His misleading claim comes on the heels of hectic preparations for what is self-hyped as "most prestigious and the biggest event" in the Filipino community, the "Pinoy Fiesta and Trade Show sa Toronto" on June 22 which culminates in its top money-earner, the PCCF pageants.

 

"The organization (meaning, the Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF), is still working on getting a charitable receipt authority from the Canada Revenue Authority (sic),” he told a public gathering in Scarborough on March 17, according to an account by Dyan Ruiz who covered the event for the Philippine Reporter.

 

Ruiz's story, dated March 22, 2013,  is published in the paper's latest print and online editions. (Full story: http://www.philippinereporter.com/2013/03/22/enverga-replies-to-critics-decries-%E2%80%98media-bullying%E2%80%99/)

 

The mention by Enverga, a former employee at Bank of Montreal, of "Canada Revenue Authority" –  which does not exist – must be a reference to the official Canada Revenue Agency, the federal government entity that administers tax, benefits, and other programs, and ensures compliance on behalf of governments across Canada.

 

His statement appears to be a tacit acknowledgement that PCCF may have been soliciting donations illegally and without paying taxes as it does not have the charitable status that CRA bestows. Enverga's claim is therefore false. 

 

In fact, PCCF has been issuing official receipts (please see attachment) signed by a Lita Leano with a notation at the bottom that says "not a charitable receipt" in bold letters. Leano is listed in the PCCF website as "executive secretary".

 

This latest admission by Enverga contradicts his earlier statement, also published in the same local paper on July 8, 2011, that “PCCF is a government registered charitable foundation, thus, strictly mandated by law to report and follow rules governing charitable organizations”.

 

PCCF does not have a registered charity number with the suffix "RR" which only the CRA can issue. Without it, an organization's status is dubious. 

 

Nowhere in CRA is PCCF indicated as a registered charity because if it is, CRA requires an annual return that includes a set of financial statements such as profit and loss and balance sheet, authorities explained.

 

Thus, monies raised from PCCF's conduct of its beauty contests in three categories, namely, Little Miss Philippines, Miss Philippines and Mrs. Philippines, which are now renamed Little Miss Philippines Canada, Miss Philippines Canada and Mrs. Philippines Canada, are considered taxable income.

 

As it now turns out, PCCF is, in Enverga's own words "registered as a charity with the provincial government of Ontario". This is a significant departure from his earlier announcement that “PCCF is a government registered charitable foundation".

 

PCCF's website declares that it is a "non-profit organization registered with the Ontario provincial Ministry of Consumer Relations".

 

O n the other hand, because of the absence of a charity registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency,  PCCF is operating as a corporation in business for profit.

 

Authorities consulted for this story said the "registration number" - actually Ontario Corporation Number 1824607 - being bandied about by PCCF president Romy Rafael and published in the PCCF website was a "misinformation" that tends to mislead the public.

 

"It is an Ontario corporation number issued by Ontario Ministry of Government Services at 393 University Ave., Toronto as its certificate of registration of its Articles of Incorporation," explains a local expert. 

 

"Only CRA is authorized by Parliament to issue Charity Registration Number," he adds.

 

In the same Philippine Reporter story, Enverga has complained that he and wife, Rosemer Albovias Enverga, "have been unfairly portrayed by some in the media x x x to the point of calling us names - thieves, crooks."

 

But none in the community's 15 newspapers labeled them "thieves, crooks" even as media scrutiny of their community activities has heightened considerably following his appointment to the Senate in September.

 

The couple has been selective of the media outfit to talk. Repeated requests for comments and clarifications, especially from this reporter and Balita newspaper, have been ignored, including those routed to his office in Ottawa.

 

PCCF President Romy Rafael has also not responded to questions emailed to him on Wednesday, March 20. The questions are unanswered:

 

1. You claimed in your website and in some press releases that PCCF is an "approved charity". Why is this statement, if true, not ever been posted/displayed/mentioned in your website from the very beginning? Why only now?

 

2. Did it mean that you just got your registration papers in February 2013?

 

3. I've checked with the relevant Ontario ministry to verify your claim and so far, there is nothing in their file to show that PCCF has been issued a number to indicate it is a registered charity. Why is so?

 

4. Does PCCF issue official receipts for donations? Can you please email photo copies of those receipts duly signed and accepted by PCCF.

 

5. One of PCCF's goals is "To relieve poverty in developing nations". If this is true, what nations are these, and how many are they? # # #

 

Background videos of my You Tube channels:

 

1. Romar Media Canada: Redefining Community News at The Gotcha Journalist Channel's Currents & Breaking News:

&feature=channel&list=UL href="/&feature=channel&list=UL" target=_blank>&feature=channel&list=UL

 

2. The Filipino Web Channel:  href="/" target=_blank>

 

 

Other stories available at: http://digitaljournal.com/user/130094/news 

 

My news channels can be viewed by clicking the links:

 

1. The Gotcha Journalist Channel's Currents & Breaking News at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGotchaJournalist#g/u

2. The Filipino Web Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FilipinoWebChannel#g/u

3. Filipino Web Entertainment Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/FilWebEntertainment#g/

 

For other stories and photos, please visit: 

1. http://currentsbreakingnews.blogspot.com/ 

2. http://torontonewsroom.blogspot.com/

3. http://timecircumstance.blogspot.com/

4. http://travelsthemes.blogspot.com/ 

5. http://gotchajournalist.blogspot.com/ .

 

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